"I'm Proud of You!"

Theme: The Baptism of the Lord - 1st Sunday after the Epiphany - Year A
Object: Photo Album
Scripture: And behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."  Matthew 3:17 (NIV)

I am sure that you will recognize what I have in my hand. It is a photo album. Most parents have several photo albums which are full of pictures taken of their children as they were growing up. We have always been very proud of our children and everything they did. We took pictures of them in school, at church, pictures of them playing, at Christmas time, on their birthdays, and many other occasions. We were proud of them as they grew up and we are proud of them today.

Do you think God was proud of His son, Jesus?

I know he was, because the Bible tells us that he was. When Jesus was baptised, the Bible tells us that there was a voice from heaven that said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Why do you think God was pleased with His son?

I think that one reason God was proud of his Son is that the Bible tells us that "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men." It makes a father proud to watch his children grow in maturity and become wiser. And, of course, a father wants his child to be well-liked and respected by other people. I think the main reason that God was proud of Jesus is that Jesus always did what his Father sent him to do. Do you always do what your father or mother tells you to do? I doubt if any of us could answer "yes" to that question -- but Jesus could. Jesus said "I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me." (John 6:38) That would make a Father proud, wouldn't it?

When we trust in Jesus as our Savior, we become the children of God. Our baptism is like an official adoption ceremony. God is proud of us from the very beginning when we become his children because that is what he wants us to be. And like a good Father - or a good Mother - God is there to help us do all the other things he asks us to do - things like loving our brothers and sisters - and forgiving and helping one another - and sharing the good things that he gives us with those who are in need.

Wouldn't you like to be the kind of child that would cause God to look down from heaven, as he did with Jesus, and say, "My child, I am proud of you?" I would like to be like that - and every day I try to be, knowing that God loves me and is there to help me be the kind of child he wants me to be.

Father, we want to be the kind of children you want us to be. Help us each day to do the things that are pleasing to you. Amen.

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